WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) today praised the inclusion of his legislation requiring parental consent for non-emergency intrusive physical examinations in the Head Start Reauthorization Act of 2007 (S.556). Sen. Inhofe has introduced his legislation (S.174) to amend the Head Start Act in the 108th, 109th, and 110th Congresses.
“Young children attending Head Start programs should not be subjected to these intrusive physical exams without prior knowledge and consent of their parents,” Inhofe said. “As a father and a grandfather, I believe it is vital for parents to be informed about what is happening to their children in the classroom. I am pleased that after my continued efforts there will finally be definitive language in federal law prohibiting these exams without parental consent.”
Senator Inhofe first introduced this legislation when several constituents raised concerns about their children receiving intrusive exams without their consent. While the Department of Health and Human Services administered general exam guidelines to agencies, the U.S. Code is not clear about prohibiting them without parental consent, thus leading to the problem the parents encountered.
Head Start and Early Head Start are child development programs that serve children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families. Additional information on Head Start may be found on the Department of Health and Human Services website: www.acf.hhs.gov